Government of Canada approves changes to improve railway track safety

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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Transport Canada announces new track maintenance standards.
Canadian National

The Government of Canada is taking action to improve railway track safety to better protect those living and working near Canada’s rail corridors, while also ensuring that railway tracks are in optimal condition to safely move Canadian goods to market.

The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced that changes to the Rules Respecting Track Safety have been approved by Transport Canada. These changes are the result of a Ministerial Order that was issued in 2020 to address major risks that could cause derailments due to the condition of railway infrastructure.

Transport Canada will administer the new rules.

The Rules Respecting Track Safety specify safety requirements that railway companies must follow when inspecting and maintaining their railway track infrastructure.

As a result of the new changes to the Rules, railway companies will be required to:

  • put in place a certification process for employees who inspect tracks and supervise the restoration of tracks to make sure their personnel have the proper knowledge and experience to carry out their safety duties;
  • establish a process to ensure that track maintenance and repair work meets regulatory requirements and the railway companies’ own standards to improve accountability; and
  • develop and implement comprehensive plans to manage rail wear and the condition of the rail surface, that are to be approved by a professional engineer to improve the integrity of railway tracks.

Transport Canada continues to work with the railway industry to make our railway system even safer for Canadians.

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